Matthew theme verse illustration | Laura Kranz
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The book of Matthew is the first book of the New Testament. The theme verse, chosen by Jeffrey at the Overview Bible Project, is Matthew 1:21.

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

There’s a lot packed into this little verse.  Yes, Mary with a baby is simple enough.  But I didn’t want to stop there. I needed a way to depict the motherhood of Mary while also foreshadowing the death of Christ.  I didn’t want to skim over the phrase that said “He will save his people from their sins.”

I turned to medieval sculpture for inspiration. I remembered many works of art centered around the lamentation of Christ’s death. I used an extremely iconic piece on the theme as inspiration—Michelangelo’s sculpture, called “Pietà,” which means “pity,” or “mercy,” which is housed at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Here are some photos of the drawing in process.  I started out by sketching the layout on watercolor paper using HB pencil.


After I had the lines right, I did an outline with illustration pen.20150124-IMG_3882

Here’s the initial pen layer after I erased the pencil layer.20150124-IMG_3883

I thickened some of the lines and applied some watercolor.20150124-IMG_3884

Here’s the final drawing.  I think it’s one of my better-executed theme verse illustrations yet.

20150125-Theme verse matthewHere’s where you can see all the theme verse illustrations so far.

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